Is Now The Time To Grab A GH2?

Started Nov 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
BigBarney Senior Member • Posts: 2,722
GH2 reflections

hinkey wrote:

With the GH3 about to ship, is now the time to pick up a GH2?

If you can find a bargain then it is always worth considering. Unfortunately for those of us outside North America we do not appear to be able to get the kind of end of line bargains that you do. Panasonic seems to be determined to defecate on its best (in terms of the prices we pay) customers. I would certainly jump at the chance of buying a second GH2 body if it was at US prices over here.

Maybe Panasonic UK will one day wake up to the fact that they are missing the boat with their pricing inflexibility. Oink, oink, flap, flap....

I've been looking at the OM-D and NEX-6, but each has issues for me:
- 4:3 sensor only - I like 3:2 or 16:9 better w/o cropping
- No built-in flash
- Poor kit lens (12-50 not terribly good)
- Poor lens selection
- No IBIS for legacy glass
- Not "weather proof"
- Poor kit lens (16-50 did not impress me in many ways)

Neither the Olympus E-M5 nor the Sony NEX-6 are bad cameras, they just have their own set of compromises that the photographer has to learn to live with or work around. The lack of IBIS is a case in point. I find that on my GH2 that I can shoot very sharp images with unstabilised lenses such as the Panasonic 20mm and 7-14mm provided that I use good enough photographic technique with them. The same goes for 'legacy lenses' where I just have to use a tripod or monopod or keep a sharp eye open for the shutter speed relative to the lens focal length.

The GH2 has the multi-aspect sensor (which I really like), built-in flash, and access to all the great m43 lenses (especially from Olympus). It's downsides are:

Yes for those of us who like shooting in 16:9 the GH2 multi-aspect sensor is a godsend. I find that I am more than happy to crop in post processing while retaining the lovely wide angle of view at this aspect ratio, particulary with the 7-14mm at 7mm.

- Older sensor tech - high ISO a bit worse than current m43 sensors

There is always a tendency to decry anything that has been superseded, but the image quality obtainable from the GH2 by shooting in RAW or tweaking the jpg settings is a long way shy of shabby, particularly if you do not shoot above ISO1600.

- Not "weather proof"

Desirable as weather-proofing can be in some circumstances, there are ways of working round its absence. I have been shooting in all weathers with my GH2 for some time now. Maybe because I am taller and stronger than most people, I can live with the GH2 and the 'heavy' 14-140mm lens attached, hanging around my neck on the supplied neckstrap all day without complaint. Provided that I keep the camera inside a waterproof jacket at all times other than the actual exposure, and dry it off with a lint-free cloth indoors afterwards, I have never had a problem with moisture. This Saturday I am off to photograph rugby football again in what is probably the remnants of Tropical Storm Sandy on this side of the Atlantic. I am not anticipating any problems with this workaround.

- No IBIS for non OIS glass

Yes it can be incovenient but the workarounds include:

  • monopod
  • tripod
  • keeping control over shutter speed relative to focal length.

- Not as compact as OM-D/NEX-6

True, but the interchangeable lenses are generally lighter and smaller. The other side of smallness is that small cameras can be ergonomically inefficient. For those of us with large hands the GH2 is almost the ideal size and the GH3 promises even more.

I want to use this as an alternative to my Nikon FX system when size and weight are a factor - like vacations, hiking, climbing, skiing, backpacking, etc. I have an LX-7 for other times when compactness is key and IQ not paramount.

Your proposed use looks sound to me. I too use a LX3 (the grandfather of the LX7) when out cycling or walking. For web use, TV display, and small prints, the output is often every bit as good as either m43 or most dSLRs provided you know what you are doing with it.

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